Religiosity and Desired Emotions: Belief Maintenance or Prosocial Facilitation?

Allon Vishkin*, Shalom H. Schwartz, Pazit Ben-Nun Bloom, Nevin Solak, Maya Tamir

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

We assessed how religiosity is related to desired emotions. We tested two competing hypotheses. First, religiosity could be associated with a stronger desire for emotions that strengthen foundational religious beliefs (i.e., more awe and gratitude and less pride). Second, religiosity could be associated with a stronger desire for emotions that promote prosocial engagement (e.g., more love and empathy and less anger and jealousy). Two cross-cultural studies supported the first hypothesis. Religiosity was related to desire for emotions that strengthen religious beliefs, but not to desire for socially engaging or socially disengaging emotions. These findings held across countries and across several different religions. A third study investigating the mechanisms of both hypotheses using structural equation modeling supported only the first hypothesis. This research extends prior work on desired emotions to the domain of religiosity. It demonstrates that the emotions religious people desire may be those that help strengthen their religious beliefs.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1090-1106
Number of pages17
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Volume46
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9655-7449 Vishkin Allon 1 Schwartz Shalom H. 1 https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4930-3355 Ben-Nun Bloom Pazit 1 Solak Nevin 2 Tamir Maya 1 1 The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel 2 TED University, Ankara, Turkey Allon Vishkin, Department of Psychology, The Hebrew University, Mt. Scopus, Jerusalem 91905, Israel. Email: allon.vishkin@mail.huji.ac.il 1 2020 0146167219895140 27 7 2018 1 11 2019 © 2020 by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Inc 2020 Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Inc. We assessed how religiosity is related to desired emotions. We tested two competing hypotheses. First, religiosity could be associated with a stronger desire for emotions that strengthen foundational religious beliefs (i.e., more awe and gratitude and less pride). Second, religiosity could be associated with a stronger desire for emotions that promote prosocial engagement (e.g., more love and empathy and less anger and jealousy). Two cross-cultural studies supported the first hypothesis. Religiosity was related to desire for emotions that strengthen religious beliefs, but not to desire for socially engaging or socially disengaging emotions. These findings held across countries and across several different religions. A third study investigating the mechanisms of both hypotheses using structural equation modeling supported only the first hypothesis. This research extends prior work on desired emotions to the domain of religiosity. It demonstrates that the emotions religious people desire may be those that help strengthen their religious beliefs. religion emotion emotion regulation Israel Science Foundation https://doi.org/10.13039/501100003977 794/11 edited-state corrected-proof typesetter ts1 Declaration of Conflicting Interests The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article. Funding The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This work was supported in part by Grant 794/11 from the Israel Science Foundation to the last author. ORCID iDs Allon Vishkin https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9655-7449 Pazit Ben-Nun Bloom https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4930-3355 Supplemental Material Supplemental material is available online with this article.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Inc.

Keywords

  • emotion
  • emotion regulation
  • religion

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